The cloud has been a popular computing term for 2009 and going into 2010 will likely see the rise of that term as content become more accessible from multiple location as opposed to being locked down by local storage.
Already users of cloud computing are experiencing more success as costs are lowered, work and necessary files are accessible from anywhere, reducing the need to be directly in front of a computer in the office or at home. More incredible is the access mobile devices have now in accessing necessary files, content, and sites as we move into an era where virtualization becomes more commonplace.
Intercept is a virtualization company within the UK specializing in desktop virtualization, server virtualization, application virtualization and storage virtualization. A very large part of their business is based in the cloud. Majority of our clients seek virtual hosting for their enterprise computers. They basically help develop a system allowing generic access, via the cloud, to any application that a company has.
When asked about the innovation of Intercept, Richard Gilder, CEO of Intercept replies, "we are now in the process of putting together some new services which are now launched which is exchange share point and we’ve got another CRM coming on site soon."
Fear of the Cloud
For many companies, much like it is with anything new, there is still that hesitation when adopting new ways of doing business. The cloud has been on the receiving end of both criticism and praise, and ultimately both sides have solid cases, it’s strong companies and good practices that can prevent catastrophic data loss and ensure a smooth changeover and maintenance of the idea.
"I think the biggest fear is actually within the wording that your putting your data and storing it ‘in the cloud’. This is actually probably the most frightening thing about it. Its going via the cloud and will be completely replicated to multiple data centers for redundancy purposes," says Richard.
The idea of giving up that control on your content and not having it locally stored is not an uncommon fear. Looking at things on a more personal level, using simplified tools like Google Documents has raised severe concern over ownership of content placed on equipment that is not technically "yours."
If content is suddenly gone, what is the actual cost on the client. In terms of personal documents, it may be subjective, but when working with large corporations, the loss could be financially devastating. Releasing the grip on the the way things have always been done is most certainly an uphill battle, but thee are many factors that can make cloud computing appealing to the client.
Money savings in terms of man power and equipment is a major selling point, reduction of carbon footprint is huge for the green enthusiasts, consistent and professionally reliable customer service personnel to answer questions for clients and address their needs, and finally, a long list of client success with the transition of locally stored data and applications to virtual cloud services.
Advancements In the Field of Virtualization
Significant advances have been made in the field of virtualization in just the last few years, but do the clients grow at the same pace, or does Intercept see that the technology completely outpaces the needs of the user?
"Generally the clients infrastructure is growing at a rate in which the technology is actually growing faster," says Richard. "We’ve had a tough couple of years with a country wide perspective in people spending upward with technology has lapsed slightly."
In the last two years alone Richard has seen people and companies become incredibly receptive to change and enthusiastic with the coming technologies. Intercept tends to focus the clients on the scalability, hardware savings, and most importantly in today’s green focused society, energy savings.
It’s apparent that technology is not the only thing advancing at great rates, but also the reduction of the carbon footprint by many companies like Intercept that offer large scale businesses the ability to tap into a virtual network in order to get their job done.
"Its an absolute colossal benefit and I think this should be pushed more and more from a green point of view. We run green government events, we run green events across the country and we should be pushing this side of things. We all are very very worried about climate change certainly not just in the UK where it rains a lot but within the global environment." Richard responds when asked what he and Intercept feel with regards to the green impact of virtualization.
Conferences and Expos
Intercept is always providing briefings in the UK regarding the virtualization market. The IP Expo is their biggest event for the quarter thus far, but several Ustream events are being planned right after Christmas.
They had 5 seminars which they ran focusing on some of their key clients, such as Windsor & Maidenhead, which show colossal cost savings up in excess of 350,000 pounds the first year, all the way through to Ed Lowry’s, which is a very large law firm in London who virtualized their infrastructure over the last couple of years.
Plans are being made currently for the 2010 year where they hope to continue their success at demonstrating the bonuses of moving to the cloud and worrying not about the data and not about the company’s security, but rather where the company is going and how it can be more successful. Richard Gilder, CEO of Intercept says shifting that focus for them is what he likes to do.